Catherine Jagoe



The man who paints points to the wall

tells me about hunger and the exiles

the man who paints shivers in colors

he spews out his life when he coughs / spits blood

Vallejo is everywhere

squalor is red when it hits the wall

when they cough it up

it peers out the chest / spits and survives

the man talks about evictions, hardships

blows a hole in words

our father in the prayer the man is painting

he whispers in the night

embraces night

and in the night, paints this poem




Translated by Catherine Jagoe

“Ramón” first appeared in the collection En la boca de los tristes (Montevideo, LoQueVendrá, 2014). This English translation was published in spoKe, Issue #2, October 2014, and is forthcoming in América Invertida: A Bilingual Anthology of Younger Uruguayan Poets, edited Jesse Lee Kercheval (University of New Mexico Press, 2016).


You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.